ANZ Sees End to Sydney Mortgage Market Shortfall in Five Years

  • New South Wales state market share at 12% vs 14.8% nationally
  • ANZ adding employees, branches in quest to grow in Sydney

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.’s investments in New South Wales will help end a mortgage-market share shortfall in the nation’s fastest-growing state economy and its capital of Sydney in about five years, an official for the bank said Monday.

The lender expanded home loans in the state at twice the rate of its rivals in the year to September and is hiring 500 front-line bankers in the next 12 months, Catriona Noble, managing director for retail distribution, said in an interview, following the opening of an ANZ home-loan center in the Sydney suburb of Parramatta. In the past year, the bank also opened a branch in the suburb of Blacktown, another in regional New South Wales, and refurbished 21 others, she said.

The bank is investing more in New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, where it’s currently the smallest mortgage lender of the nation’s big four lenders with a 12 percent market share, said Noble, who joined in September from McDonald’s Corp. The bank has a 14.8 percent market share nationally, regulatory data show. ANZ’s board regarded the state as a “very good market” for further investment, Chairman David Gonski said in a Dec. 3 interview.

“By the end of September 2016, we’ll have very strong equitable representation in the state in terms of the right spread of branches in the right spots,” Noble said. “I don’t see a reason why we can’t continue growing at double the rate of others in New South Wales. We have been over the last few years investing disproportionately in the region just to catch up.”

ANZ, which in 2013 described its lagging position in New South Wales as a 175-year-old problem, has added home-loan market share nationally for six consecutive years, according to filings. Its gains in Sydney have been spurred by a 44 percent rise in home prices over the past three years, along with the bank cutting its borrowing costs to a five-decade low.

“By the end of 2016, we won’t be saying we are small, we don’t have enough branches in the state,” she said. “We are also investing a lot more in our marketing up here.”

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